Tree Sparrow at Alphington (Vic)

To: brian fleming <>
Subject: Tree Sparrow at Alphington (Vic)
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 09:59:43 +1100
brian fleming wrote:
Eurasian Tree Sparrrows used to be quite common in some Melbourne suburbs and we used to see plenty around Ivanhoe and Alphington.  In recent years they have declined markedly, so I was pleased to see one on Wed. 30 November, on the outward platform at Alphington Station, while we were waiting for the 10.08 to the City.
In case any tick-hunters really want to see them, there are still quite a few at Melbourne Zoo.  They are not very hard to pick from House Sparrows - brown cap, and black spot on cheek.

Hi Anthea

I live around the corner from Alphington Station (inner eastern Melbourne) and I agree that Eurasian Tree Sparrows can easily be seen there - and are at least as abundant as House Sparrows in the block around there (particularly down to the Paladarr restaurant on the corner of Yarralea Street).  They are also 'the' sparrow at Fairfield Station (next stop towards the city) and in the blocks behind the shops - whereas House Sparrows are more common on the street front amongst the el fresco diners, etc.

I don't think Tree Sparrows are declining in the parts of Melbourne where I've watched them over the last 10-15 years (train stations feature high on this list of sites  :-)   ), and I can think of a few suburbs where they outnumber House Sparrows (parts of Ascot Vale, Pascoe Vale South, Northcote, Fairfield, ...).  They do seem to be less abundant and widespread in Geelong these days - particularly near where I grew up in Geelong West (and my parents still live there).

The other good field mark is their somewhat finch-like honking call - much different to the harsh chatter of House Sparrows.


Lawrie Conole GradCertOrnith MEIANZ
Principal Zoologist

Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
E-mail: lconole [at]
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
Fax: (03) 9481 7679
ABN 83 006 757 142

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